A report by UK MP’s says that England is now short of 12,000 hospital doctors and more than 50,000 nurses and midwives.
They found that high numbers of medical staff are quitting but not being replaced.
Warning that this was the worst workforce crisis in NHS history, the report said a reluctance to fill the staffing gap could threaten plans to tackle the Covid treatment backlog.
BBC reports: The government said the workforce is growing and NHS England is drawing up long-term plans to recruit more staff.
Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who chairs the Commons health and social care select committee that produced the report, said tackling the shortage must be a “top priority” for the new prime minister when they take over in September.
“Persistent understaffing in the NHS poses a serious risk to staff and patient safety, a situation compounded by the absence of a long-term plan by the government to tackle it,” he said.
Simon (not his real name) has worked in the NHS all his career as a psychologist – despite the fact he could have earned more in the private sector.
But next year he will be leaving, moving out of health care altogether, saying the final straw was the below-inflation pay rise this year.
“I now feel totally unvalued and taken advantage of.
“I could have earned twice as much in the private sector, but I stuck with the NHS for my whole career.